My first memory of Independence Day is that it is also my sister Mandy’s birthday and growing up as a young child, I used to think that the fireworks were just to celebrate her birthday! We used to get together as a family, my cousin Roger would make homemade ice cream, and we’d watch my sister open presents before we enjoyed the fireworks together.

Of course, I grew past 3 years old and learned what else is celebrated on the 4th of July, the day we celebrate our independence as a nation! As I think of my sister’s birthstone, the Ruby, and its incredible red beauty, I start thinking of the three colors in the American flag and their meanings. They are very appropriate for these great United States. 

In gemstones, red would be signified by the Ruby, white by the Diamond, and blue by the Sapphire. 

The meaning of the gorgeous red Ruby for thousands of years has been passion. Imagine the passion that our Veteran’s must have felt as they left their homes and families to fight in the War of Independence and gain freedoms for this nation that would be enjoyed for generations to come!

The Diamond is the hardest gemstone. The word ‘Diamond’ actually stems from the Greek word ‘Adamas’ which means unconquerable. Hard (durable), unconquered, beautiful; these are all very good descriptions for the diamond and interestingly enough, very good descriptions of our great nation as well.

The blue Sapphire, which is one of the more popular colored gemstones, represents wisdom and truth and the understanding of justice. It also has many religious meanings as well and was often worn to ward off evil spirits. 

So when looking, from the gemstone point-of-view, at the colors of our American flag, we can see passion for our freedom, a hard and unconquerable spirit, wisdom, truth and justice. I am so very, very proud to live in a country where you and I are actually free to come up with such a definition. We are free to elect our own leaders, voice our opinions, bear arms, practice the religion of our choice, marry whom we wish to marry and celebrate Independence Day any way we choose. 

Whether it is with my sister for her birthday or out on the lake watching the fireworks, we need to all take a moment to bow our heads and hearts and thank God for our liberties and for the brave and selfless men and women who have fought  for our freedoms and continue to do so today. We salute you and would like everyone to remember that Independence Day and those fireworks are for you, our honored veterans!

As a side note, my sister’s favorite gemstone has always been the purple Amethyst, which stems from the Greek word ‘amethystos’ which means ‘not intoxicated’. 

Happy birthday Mandy and Happy birthday to the United States of America!